Noodle Panic

pad thai noodle panic

Noodle Panic [nood-l pan-ik]

noun

A sudden overwhelming fear or anxiety that emerges right before one leaves Thailand due to the belief that such delicious dishes might not be had again for a very long time. This results in behavior that includes irrational purchasing of any and all food that passes by or that the sufferer comes across. When such attacks of Noodle Panic arise, it is best for the sufferer to be supervised by a loved one and for their wallet to be looked after. Symptoms include: an inability to keep conversation, darting eyes, perspiration, shortness of breath, a slight dizzy feeling, trembling, and the desire to spend an unlimited amount of money on food.

Origin: The first case was diagnosed on a night train on February 12, 2012 by David Domagalski. While attempting to play cards, his usually sane girlfriend, was overcome with anxiety due to the fact that she was unsure when she would ever eat such delicious Thai food in Thailand again. This resulted in a very distracted card game as countless vendors walked the train car aisle selling noodles, snacks, and beverages. Despite her lack of hunger due to an impulsive Pad Siew purchase earlier that day, she repeatedly asked David if she should buy things, to which he smartly replied no. If the person suffering from a Noodle Panic attack is encouraged, an entire budget can be blown and more food than they can eat will be bought.

Crafting on the Road: Learning how to make traditional Lao Buddhist temple stencils

Crafting in Laos

In the past few years I’ve been in and out of many, many temples and can’t help but be mesmerized by the stunning artwork covering the inner and outer walls of each and every one. Every temple, even ones that are only one block away from each other, have a different look to them and I’ve taken to photographing the beautiful art at each one I visit. I hope to use my large collection of temple art pictures as inspiration for something one day.

stencil makingI had always wondered how the artwork was made and how long it took, so I was ecstatic to discover Yensabai Book & Art  in Luang Prabang, Laos that offers traditional stencil making classes. For 120,000 Kip (15 USD) we were taught how to properly cut the stencils out of handmade paper with straight and curved chisels on a plank of wood. Over a span of two hours Dave and I hammered away while occasionally sipping on Lao green tea (for me) and Lao coffee (for Dave). It was a very cathartic experience and we not only walked away with a better understanding of how much work goes into decorating a Buddhist Temple, but also two pieces of awesome art.

stencil tools and materials

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/xtENNU3_pCs” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

cutting my stencil

our finished stencils

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following me on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Gone are the days

Gone are the days when…

  • I found street food suspicious.
  • I dreaded squatter toilets.
  • cockroaches spooked me.
  • big spiders in my room surprised me.
  • ants in my room bothered me.
  • washing my hair daily was a necessity.
  • I thought days on buses, trains and planes were exciting and not exhausting.
  • the majority of travelers relied on internet cafes.
  • internet was too slow that I had to email new blog posts to my dad for him to post.
  • wifi was a luxury.
  • T.V. in my guesthouse room was shocking.
  • I stayed in hostel dormitories.
  • I shared rooms with newly befriended travelers.
  • I had to backup my pictures on CDs at internet cafes.
  • fellow backpackers understood that service and food would be different than it was at home.
  • people found their exotic surroundings more interesting than their iPods.
  • a select few had electronic reading devices.
  • it was easy to find somebody to trade a book with.
  • I didn’t have a truly awesome travel buddy by my side every step of the way.

 

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following me on Facebook and/or Twitter.

The Royal Pavilion

Dave and I spent six hours walking around the Royal Flora Expo in Chiang Mai. In the evening, while Dave was getting artsy with his DSLR, I played around with the burst mode on my camera. What I ended up with was a really neat collage and a very short time lapse.  Please click on the picture to experience the full-size image.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0PWdYwfaL8]

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following me on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Native Foreigner

Native Foreigner is an online magazine for anybody who has traveled, is going to travel or knows somebody returning from an experience abroad. The first issue just came out and you can find my article on page 45. I highly recommend this publication and not just because I’m in it! The whole magazine is incredibly visually pleasing and the writing is excellent. This is a great resource for students returning from a study abroad experience, along with parents who want to know what their kids might be going through. I’m very honored to be part of the first issue. Go read it!

The Miracle of Greenitude

I love uncovering activities in Thailand where there are very few farang (foreigners) making loud ridiculous comments while toting large Chang beers that match their Chang tank tops. The International Horticultural Exposition: Royal Flora Ratchaphruek was exactly one of those great finds that the masses (foreign tourists that is) hadn’t heard about. It was foreigner friendly with plenty of information in English, but the majority of the people wandering around were Thai. Just my scene.

I was super proud of Thailand while walking around the huge horticulture theme park. The first road from the entrance, and the suggested path, takes you through the gardens and exhibits of a wide variety of government related departments including the Department of Livestock Development, Rice Department, Ministry of National Resources and Environment, Land Development Department, etc. I thought this was genius because it led people to the most educational sections first; sections they may have chosen to skip otherwise.

Dave and I were particularly impressed by the exhibit from the Department of Groundwater Resources. Read more

Picture?

There’s an odd trend I’ve noticed while traveling through Asia. Asian tourists and locals frequently come up to me (and I’m sure other foreigners) and ask to take a picture with me. I can’t seem to wrap my mind around the concept of wanting to take a picture with a complete stranger when the only words you’ve exchanged with them were “Picture?” Read more

A Virtual Golf Experience

golfing

Golf has never interested me. My family plays while I drive the cart and soak up some rays. That’s how it goes. My only other golf associated memories are from Squaw Valley. I spent many childhood summer days hunting for golf balls in the creek that runs through the golf course in Squaw. My neighbor and I would make loads of lemonade and cookies to sell on the border of the golf course, right where the golfers usually ran out of balls. They couldn’t say no to two little girls selling cheap golf balls and snacks. We raked it in. That’s really the only thing I liked about golf; it made me money.

Dave convinced me to give the sport a try and we finally went this weekend. Where in Seoul did we go golfing, you might ask? In a basement down the road, of course! We went screen-golfing. For 15,000 won per person, you can golf nine holes at many courses form around the world, or at least their digital counterparts. We chose an easy course in South Korea for my first (and most likely last) try. The room is equipped with clubs, gloves, and popcorn. You hit while standing on a platform that tilts based on the slope of the course. Birds chirp in the background, and if you ever make the ball into a hole (which I didn’t) there is applause from the invisible crowd.

my golf swing

I am not a golf convert. I found it a little frustrating and I understand why people throw their clubs. It’s not an easy game, and I’m certainly not cut out for it. That being said, screen golf is a fun rainy day activity and I’m sure it’s great for avid golfers living in the city who can’t make it out to a golf course that often. If you get nauseous easily, I don’t recommend watching the screen as the ball flies and hits the ground. It made me feel a little dizzy, but that could be because I’m not used to video game graphics. Dave won our match since I couldn’t manage to get my ball anywhere near the putting green. Oh well!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following me on Facebook and/or Twitter.

The Seoul International Fireworks Festival 2011

Last night we went to the Seoul International Fireworks Festival in Yeouido. I was very wary about the crowds before going. Seoul is home to many people and I knew it was going to be crowded. When we got out of the subway car it took us fifteen minutes before we could emerge from the crowd and breathe some fresh air. I don’t handle crowds very well. I’m small and get pushed around, plus I really don’t like not being able to see where I’m going. I imagine it’s more bearable for the folks who can look over the shoulders of the people in front of them. I’ve never seen so many people in one place. We’ve been to some pretty crowded events in Seoul, but this took the cake.

We found a spot on a bridge that overlooked the river and the park and waited for the show to begin. I put my camera on infinity burst mode and took over 500 pictures total. The show lasted about an hour and a half. There were three different displays by teams from Japan, Portugal and Korea. They used over 11,000 fireworks.

It was a stunning show and by far the most fireworks I’ve ever seen. The whole thing was set to music, but we only heard snippets here and there. At times there were so many fireworks that it looked like a huge blob of light in the sky, almost apocalyptic, which was fitting because walking out of the park seemed like a mass migration during a zombie apocalypse or something.

Here’s a time lapse video of pictures I took at the festival:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MozYqQGXs-Q]

 

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following me on Facebook and/or Twitter.